One question that one of my awesome email subscribers recently asked, is regarding if they should use double or single opt-in for their email newsletter.
This is as an awesome question, and since I’ve personally gone back and forth a bunch of times over the years (lol), I would love to chime in regarding my own personal philosophy.
First Of All, Always Ask Yourself This One Question:
Is it more important for you, at this point in your life, to grow your email list, or to clean your email list?
In other words, are you more concerned with building your email list and adding new email subscribers, OR, are you more concerned with cleaning your email list so that only true subscribers get access?
The Biggest Advantage And Disadvantage Of Single Opt-in:
If you use single opt-in, then your subscribers are going to get access to your email list much easier. Your subscribers won’t have to “confirm” their subscription, so subscribing is easy and immediate. That’s the biggest and best advantage of having single opt-in; your email list will be larger, statistically speaking.
However, there is a TINY risk involved; that risk, is that strangers may inadvertently end up subscribing to your newsletter who did NOT request it.
There are a few actions that might ultimately result with this occurring; for example if a prospect types in a wrong email address when they subscribe on your lead capture page, or if someone wants one of your lead magnets but has no intention of providing with you with their real email address (in which case, they enter a fake, bogus one).
In even more grim cases, a nasty competitor could even, hypothetically, enter maliciously and blatantly false data in a hope that this messes your email marketing game up!
So, in a nutshell; the biggest advantage of single opt-in is that you will, statistically speaking, have more email subscribers.
However, on the other hand, you also open the door to people who may not have subscribed to your email newsletter getting access!
The Biggest Advantage And Disadvantage Of Double Opt-in:
Using double opt-in is perfect for you, if you want to ensure that ONLY those who actually requested to join your email newsletter get access. So if you’re worried about bogus email addresses sneaking their way into your email database, then double opt-in is the best.
On the other hand, there is a HUGE disadvantage of double opt-in; which is that many prospects who WANT to join your email newsletter, will never confirm.
This happens for a few reasons. Maybe your confirmation message got lost in the spam-box, maybe your prospect forgot to confirm, or maybe they’re literally too lazy to confirm.
It All Goes Back To Where You Are In Your Business
What’s more important to you?
The accuracy and cleanliness of your email list, or, the growth of your email list?
For me, I love the cleanliness of my email list; I only want those who actually request to get on my email list.
That being said, were I earlier in my email marketing career, and if I did NOT have much of an email list, I would almost certainly use single opt-in, because I would be more interested with adding subscribers.
So, That’s The Real Question To Ask Yourself. Growth Vs. Cleanliness.
Is it more important for you, to add email subscribers, or to keep your email list neat and tidy?
This is just my humble two cents after studying and engaging with email marketing since around 2010; and there’s no right or wrong answer really.
I’ve personally engaged and debated for both sides of this argument.
I’ve also known successful email marketers who are on both sides of the fence.
There’s One Caveat Before I Leave…
That caveat, is if you’re PAYING for advertising. If you’re paying for advertising, it may be wise to err on the side of “building your list”.
Because, imagine how it would feel if you spent a bunch of money on an advertisement, but only 30% of your opt-ins confirmed their email address.
Would that yank your chain a tad bit?
There’s no right or wrong answer, and just to be safe, make sure that you always IMMEDIATELY unsubscribe those who wish to leave your email list anyway.
Wishing you the absolute best…
Mike “Double Opt” DeVincent